Studying is a lot like real estate: location is everything. When it comes to doing schoolwork from home, you need to make sure you have a dedicated space where you will do your best work. Here are five things to consider when creating your own studying sanctuary:
1. Make sure the space is free of clutter. Too much junk will clutter your mind as well as your workspace. Keep you desk clear of everything except for necessities such as your computer and textbooks.
2. Use white noise to block out sound. Sudden noises can be very distracting and it can take you along time to regain your focus. Using a constant soft sound, known as white noise, can greatly reduce this problem. Try putting a fan on or some soft instrumental music. If you have sound-blocking headphones, these can help as well.
3. Have adequate lighting. The wrong lighting can cause eyestrain and headaches, making it difficult, if not impossible to get your work done. A good desk lamp is essential, particularly if your desk faces a wall. Beware of too much light as well as it can tire out your eyes very quickly. Soft lamplight around the room will create a peaceful environment allowing you to concentrate.
4. Remove any distracting devices. Mobile phones, magazines and anything else that can distract your focus should be banned from the study sanctuary. Give yourself a designated break time if you want to check your email or text messages. When your work is feeling tedious or difficult, it’s natural to want to take a break to read something more enjoyable. With time, you can train your mind to stay focused on the task at hand, but removing the temptations will make this much easier.
5. Let your household know where your study sanctuary is. Friends and family and roommates should be aware of the space in which you have chosen to do your work and ask that they respect your time while you are there. By letting people know upfront that you are doing your homework, they will be less likely to bother you and create uncomfortable situations. Try putting a sign on the door letting people know you are working, or if there is not a door, consider putting a sign on your desk that says, “If you are reading this, I am studying. Please do not disturb.”
Following these five steps is easy but will go a long way to ensure you have a place to prioritize your homework. If it’s impossible to find a quite place at home, consider going to a library, coffee shop or community center. It might take some time to find the right spot to study but once you do, it will pay off with higher grades.